John and the Hole: What's it like to be an adult?

Kids do stupid things all the time, but screenwriter Nicolas Giacobone (Oscar winner for Birdman 2014) takes this concept beyond just stupidity, to something authentic and alarming. The film metaphorically shows two sides of a cointhe first one is 'how kids think about adulthood', and the second one is 'what adulthood really is'.

John and the Hole (2021)
Genres: Drama, Psychological Thriller
Cast: Charlie Shotwell, Jennifer Ehle,
Taissa Farmiga
John and the Hole movie poster
Image: IFC Films

John (Charlie Shotwell) is a 13-year-old kid, raised by wealthy but busy parents. Anna (Jennifer Ehle, recently appeared in Saint Maud), and Brad (Michael C. Hall), are shown as parents. Laurie (Taissa Farmiga) is John's elder sister. John is good at tennis, plays the piano, can imitate his mother's voice, and asks a lot of questions.
What's it like to be an adult?
When do you stop being a kid?
When he asks these questions to his mother, she explains to him that adult life is a bag full of responsibilities that you have to carry on your shoulders throughout life. John didn't like that version of adulthood.

One day while John was playing in the woods nearby his house, he stumbled upon an abandoned bunker. Then, the other day he was dragging his unconscious family members there. He took them captive and started living his version of adulthood.

This is the type of film that gives the audience little explanation at the end, so the audience has to understand the story from their perspective.

John And The Hole Movie Explained

The theories of this metaphorical movie depend on observation and understanding of the individuals. The way John is completely emotionless and unaware of the consequences of his menacing actions, it is all a metaphor.

John thinks that adulthood is all about having a luxurious house, driving an expensive car, playing games with a friend, and having big bucks in the bank account. So John's story represented how a kid thinks about adulthood. The little girl represents the taunting reality of adulthood, who is forced to shoulder all the responsibilities with little money. The film shows these two sides of adulthood.

The first half creates an engaging tense atmosphere, yet it's slow-paced. But the second half leads to an unexpected conclusion (or confusion). The swimming pool scene is intense and nerve-racking. Yet the film isn't as thrilling as it seems in the trailer. The metaphors are very complex.

The director (Pascual Sisto) tried to turn it into an arthouse film. I liked the cast overall, Charlie Shotwell's acting is appreciable. The aspect ratio (1.33:1) and neat filming style make it even more interesting. If you like indie psychological thrillers, then you should give 'John and the Hole' a watch.

 John and the Hole (2021) Official Trailer


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